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JAVANESE MUSIC IN SURINAME


GENERAL

Traditional Javanese music in Suriname is gamelan music, which is commonly used to accompany dances, songs and scenes. Other types of music are the kotekan, kelingbang, terbangan, krontyong, angklung, kulintan and arumba. Gamelan music is common in Javanese cultural activities, whilst the kotekan and kelingbang are unknown under the younger genereration. Terbangan orchestras are common under the Javanese Islamitic organizations. Krontyong music is common under the elder generation, whilst anklung, kulintang and arumba are becoming popular.


Gamelan orchestra, Sana Budaya, Paramaribo, 2002
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali

Gamelan orchestra, accompanying wayang scene, Sana Budaya, Paramaribo, 2002
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali


GAMELAN

A gamelan orchestra generally consists mainly of metalic xylophones and gongs of serveral sizes and a drum. The music is striking since the scale differs with the western one. The scales are the "slendro" and the "pelog". There are several types of gamelan orchestras. The gamelan gede (big), is a complete orchestra consisting of instruments for the pelog and slendro scale. The gamelan tyilik (small) is an orchestra, consisting of only five xylophones and a drum, which are only for the slendro scale. Finally a more extensive orchestra is the gamelan bonangan. The most recent development in gamelan music in Suriname is the inclusion of western musical instruments in a gamelan orchestra, and is called the tyampur tari.


Set of gongs, part of the gamelan orchestra, Sana Budaya, Paramaribo, 2002
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali

Modern gamelan orchestra, including western musical instruments, Sana Budaya,Paramaribo, 2002
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali


ANGKLUNG, KULINTANG AND ARUMBA

The instruments origen from Indonesia and were introduced in Suriname about 15 years ago by the Embassy of Indonesia. The scale of these type of music is similar to the western one and the music is used to accompany popular songs. Angklungs are instruments made of bamboo sticks, which are attached to a bamboo frame. The sticks and frames have different sizes and music is produces by shaking the instruments. Kulintan is a wooded (sometimes bamboo) xylophone. These types of instruments can be used seperately or combined. When these types of instruments are used combined in an orchestra it is called "arumba". ARUMBA stands for alunan (rhythm), rumpun (collection) and bamboo. Sometimes western musical instruments are included in the arumba orchestra.


Angklung instruments, Sana Budaya, Paramaribo
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali

Kulintang instruments, Sana Budaya, Paramaribo
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali



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Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali